Judge Sees Progress in Reform of Prison Health Care System
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has made progress in improving the prison health care system, including efforts to increase staff, a federal judge said on Monday, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Senior U.S. District Judge Thelthon Henderson, who last year placed the prison health system in receivership, said he is "more optimistic than he's ever been in this case" that progress is being made.
Chief of Prison Health Care Peter Farber-Szekrenyi -- appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to oversee the implementation of emergency measures -- said job offers have been extended to 55 physicians and 180 registered nurses. Farber-Szekrenyi said he expects most of the offers to be accepted.
As of Thursday, the prison system had 76 physician job vacancies and 368 registered nurse openings.
However, attorney Steven Fama of the Prison Law Office said the number of staff who have accepted jobs so far is relatively small, and officials have not determined whether all applicants are qualified.
Henderson said the final rounds of interviews for a receiver were about to begin (Cooper, Sacramento Bee, 1/9).